By Justin Seward
While Prairie Rose School Division students began their new normal in the classroom this week, kids can also expect the bus rides to-and-from their stops to have protocols in place.
-Registered bus riding student will be picked up as they would be under normal conditions
-Bus drivers will be provided the same screening tool as parents and are asked to watch for signs of illness
-Additionally, if a child has an illness, they will be required to wear a mask and their parents will be contacted by the school principal upon arrival of the bus to pick up the student.
-Bus drivers will develop a seating plan to keep families together and with social distancing
-Buses will be cleaned before each route at the start of the day and before picking up students in the afternoon.
-Students will be required to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask for the duration of the bus ride
“I put together the packages for each individual route and bus driver. I shared that with them a week or so a go. They all have their package and in their package is our rules for this year,” said Derek Beck, PRSD’s director of transportation.
“When they do get on the bus, we load them first on, gets the back. The bus drivers have a spray bottle of sanitizer for each child.”
Beck said, “On some of the buses’ smaller routes, where they get out into the outer rural areas, it is possible to social distance some kids on buses. But in our town routes, going into our some of our bigger schools, some of those routes are fairly full.”
Beck wanted to remind the students in Grades 4 to 12 that masks are mandatory.
“Everything is a little bit different with some of these rules that we are following. But I don’t anticipate too many challenges,” said Beck.
“Obviously we’ll cross that bridge when and if we get a case of COVID-19. We have systems in place to care for that too.”
Beck has not heard from anyone yet on whether or not there will be an impact on bus rider numbers with more kids be dropped off at school by their parents.
Parents and students can access a further listing of guidelines at prrdweb.com.